Indian-flagged oil tanker hit by Houthi attack drone in Red Sea: US military

New York: An Indian-flagged crude oil tanker is among two vessels that came under drone attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the Southern Red Sea, the US Central Command has said.

The US Central Command said in a statement that on December 23, two Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles were fired into international shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

No ships reported being impacted by the ballistic missiles.

Between 3 and 8 pm (Sanaa time), the USS LABOON (DDG 58) was patrolling in the Southern Red Sea as part of Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG) and shot down four unmanned aerial drones originating from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen that were inbound to the USS LABOON. There were no injuries or damage in this incident.

At approximately 8 pm (Sanaa time), US Naval Forces Central Command received reports from two ships in the Southern Red Sea that they were under attack.

The M/V BLAAMANEN, a Norwegian-flagged, owned, and operated chemical/oil tanker, reported a near miss of a Houthi one-way attack drone with no injuries or damage reported.

A second vessel, the M/V SAIBABA, a Gabon-owned, Indian-flagged crude oil tanker, reported that it was hit by a one-way attack drone with no injuries reported.

The USS LABOON (DDG 58) responded to the distress calls from these attacks.

The US Central Command said these attacks represent the 14th and 15th attacks on commercial shipping by Houthi militants since October 17.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels stepped up attacks on ships in the Red Sea amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.